Riddles Comedy Club has been rolling out the laugh-barrels for more than 20 years, propelling standup stars such as Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Carey, and Martin Lawrence into the spotlight. Today’s deal treats visitors to the show of their choice between now and the end of May, plus tickets to any future show attended after the first show. In addition to entertaining the troops in Iraq, Al Del Bene (October 14–15) has accompanied Dane Cook on his Isolated Incident tour. Political satirist Tim Slagle (October 21–22) will give funny bones a pre-election tickling, and Trial by Laughter champ Mike Baldwin (October 28–29) plans to fill bellies with laughs before guests pack them with Thanksgiving stuffing. Instead of rehearsing their own standup routines for crowds of fickle mannequins, club-goers can practice them on Riddles’ friendly bartenders as they sip beers, martinis, or Long Island iced teas.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
At The ComedySportz Theatre, audience suggestions keep an all-ages, family-friendly and fast-paced vortex of scenes, games, and songs spinning in competitive shows that pit two improv teams against each other. Inside the intimate, 149-seat theater, spontaneity rules as a referee moderates the all-ages-appropriate hilarity pitched between the Chicago Bosses and The Evanston Express. At the end of each comedic duel, the points and audience votes are tallied to determine the winning team, sentencing the losers to feed the doves that live inside the winners' top hats.
The ComedySportz Training Center's seasoned instructors also teach six-week courses in the art of improvised hilarity and the essential virtues of spontaneity, risk taking, and engagement with the moment. Through scene work, ComedySportz games, and short- and long-form improv, students learn to keep audiences roaring in order to jump-start a career or become a more affable bank robber.
The quick-witted troupe of performers at pH Productions stirs up a rollicking concoction of comedy that bubbles with equal parts improv and audience interaction. Founded in 2002, the troupe's scientific moniker celebrates the onstage chemistry that leads to a great night of improv and leaves nothing but a neutral puddle of goo when incompatible performers accidentally touch. Classes teach would-be improvisers the arts of extemporaneous comedy with a focus on hands-on learning, and a slate of shows delight audiences with long- and short-form sketches, many of which have been recognized with the Chicago Reader's Critic's Choice award.
Hailed by the Chicago Reader as the Best New Play of 2011, Musical of the Living Dead takes audiences on a rip-roaring journey beyond the grave with its satirical send-ups of classic zombie films and musical theater. Now that their bodies have had one more year to decay, the play’s zombies return for a triumphant second run that promises even more brain-eating mayhem than the last. The curtain opens on 10 survivors of a recent zombie apocalypse, trapped in a farmhouse and willing to try anything to escape. Directors Marc Lewallen and Brad Younts gleefully fulfill horror-film conventions in selecting which cast members survive and which succumb to the screeching songs of the zombies, who have sewn up their larynxes to perform harmonized ditties in honor of Halloween. As musical trends rarely reach the deaf ears of the undead, the play’s soundtrack gathers inspiration from such disparate sources as George Gershwin, Green Day, and the werewolf doo-wop group that sometimes practices out of The Charnel House’s basement.
Chemical imbalances have too long been the scapegoat for thieves, killers, and the animated lamp that steals your teeth in that recurring nightmare about the puppy farm. Shake up the biochemical pathways between your funny bone and your laugh bladder with today’s Groupon to Chemically Imbalanced Comedy. For $8, you get four tickets to any of CIC’s shows. Split your tickets among friends (as long as you're all over the age of 13) and go to see a show together, or keep them to yourself and see any four performances you like. CIC is BYOB, so you won’t dump money on overpriced drinks or spend the evening with a dry, humorless throat.
Conveniently located in Wrigleyville near the Irving Park Brown Line and the Sheridan Red Line el stations, Chemically Imbalanced Comedy’s theater is home to a repertoire of improvisational themes and competitions that feature talented comedians from across the city. In Desperately Seeking, CIC's sultans of spontaneity choose a random classified ad from the Chicago Reader’s Matches section and improvise on the life of the person who took out the ad. Place your own ad before you go and wish on a magical cricket that you’ll get to see your life played out before you by the hysterical fun-makers. Otherwise, stop in to see Pimprov, the acclaimed portmanteau that gives four pimps a chance to improvise and escape the repetitive, predictable mundanities of their 9-to-5 (a.m.) day job. If you’re new to the city and need an introduction to all the funny people, head to The Comedy Showcase, which features three different improv or sketch comedy groups each week.
Laughter works your abdominal muscles, stretches your vocal chords, and invigorates your internal organs with radiant vibrations, gently massaging your sweetie’s heart and stimulating his or her sense that maybe it isn’t just the dark and the wine that’s making you look so cute. Cozy up to a potential life-mate in the dark and let mutual bursts of laughter serve as an excuse for sidelong glances and casual arm touches.
The Chicago Reader offers this rave review of Chemically Imbalanced Comedy's show Pimprov:
- The group stays heavily engaged with the crowd throughout this high-energy show, bringing people on stage and carrying on multiple side conversations during and between bits. What I enjoyed most were their hilarious, spontaneous dancing (from tap to b-boying) and varied characters. These are no one-trick pimps: at the show I saw they shrewdly played everything from north side trixies to blue-collar Chicagoans. – Ryan Hubbard, Chicago Reader
Yelpers give the improv group a solid four stars, and four Citysearchers award it a perfect five:
- Great improv and professional actors…Pushing the envelope for sure but got some great laughs out of our group. My stomach hurt and I was hunched over from laughing. – Kristin K., Yelp
- This was one of the funniest shows I have seen in a long time. – sally_massino, Citysearch